Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.
"Confucius" was a China/Chinese teacher, editor, politician, and Chinese philosophy/philosopher of the Spring and Autumn period of History of China/Chinese history.
The philosophy of Confucius emphasized personal and governmental morality, correctness of social relationships, justice and sincerity. His followers competed successfully with many other schools during the Hundred Schools of Thought era only to be suppressed in favor of the Legalism (Chinese philosophy)/Legalists during the Qin Dynasty. Following the victory of Han dynasty/Han over Chu-Han Contention/Chu after the collapse of Qin, Confucius's thoughts received official sanction and were further developed into a system known as Confucianism.
Confucius is traditionally credited with having authored or edited many of the Chinese classic texts including all of the Five Classics, but modern scholars are cautious of attributing specific assertions to Confucius himself. Aphorisms concerning his teachings were compiled in the Analects of Confucius/Analects, but only many years after his death.If you enjoy these quotes, be sure to check out other famous philosophers! More Confucius on Wikipedia.
To see what is right, and not to do it, is want of courage or of principle.
When you have faults, do not fear to abandon them.
If a man withdraws his mind from the love of beauty, and applies it as sincerely to the love of the virtuous; if, in serving his parents, he can exert his utmost strength; if, in serving his prince, he can devote his life; if in his intercourse with his friends, his words are sincere - although men say that he has not learned, I will certainly say that he has.
While you are not able to serve men, how can you serve spirits [of the dead]?...While you do not know life, how can you know about death?
I am not one who was born in the possession of knowledge; I am one who is fond of antiquity, and earnest in seeking it there.
It is better to play than do nothing.
It is only the benevolent man who is capable of liking or disliking other men.
Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.
When you see a good man, try to emulate his example, and when you see a bad man, search yourself for his faults.
He who will not economize will have to agonize.
Do not be desirous of having things done quickly. Do not look at small advantages. Desire to have things done quickly prevents their being done thoroughly. Looking at small advantages prevents great affairs from being accomplished.
I have not seen a person who loved virtue, or one who hated what was not virtuous. He who loved virtue would esteem nothing above it.
He who speaks without modesty will find it difficult to make his words good.
Tsze-Kung asked, saying, 'Is there one word which may serve as a rule of practice for all one's life?' The Master said, 'Is not Reciprocity such a word? What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others.'
The scholar who cherishes the love of comfort is not fit to be deemed a scholar.
Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance.
Study the past if you would define the future.
To see what is right and not to do it is want of courage.
If a man remembers what is right at the sign of profit, is ready to lay down his life in the face of danger, and does not forget sentiments he has repeated all his life when he has been in straitened circumstances for a long time, he may be said to be a complete man.
Without an acquaintance with the rules of propriety, it is impossible for the character to be established.
There are three things which the superior man guards against. In youth...lust. When he is strong...quarrelsomeness. When he is old...covetousness.
While the gentleman cherishes benign rule, the small man cherishes his native land. While the gentleman cherishes a respect for the law, the small man cherishes generous treatment.
Forget injuries, never forget kindnesses.
Learning without thought is labor lost; thought without learning is perilous.
Have no friends not equal to yourself.
The people may be made to follow a path of action, but they may not be made to understand it.
Everything has its beauty but not everyone sees it.
The superior man, when resting in safety, does not forget that danger may come. When in a state of security he does not forget the possibility of ruin. When all is orderly, he does not forget that disorder may come. Thus his person is not endangered, and his States and all their clans are preserved.
It is not possible for one to teach others who cannot teach his own family.
Humankind differs from the animals only by a little, and most people throw that away.
Be not ashamed of mistakes and thus make them crimes.
Respect yourself and others will respect you.
To govern is to correct. If you set an example by being correct, who would dare remain incorrect?
The cautious seldom err.
The superior man acts before he speaks, and afterwards speaks according to his action.
By nature, men are nearly alike; by practice, they get to be wide apart.
If a man takes no thought about what is distant, he will find sorrow near at hand.
Things that are done, it is needless to speak about...things that are past, it is needless to blame.
If language is not correct, then what is said is not what is meant; if what is said is not what is meant, then what must be done remains undone; if this remains undone, morals and art will deteriorate; if justice goes astray, the people will stand about in helpless confusion. Hence there must be no arbitrariness in what is said. This matters above everything.
To be able under all circumstances to practice five things constitutes perfect virtue; these five things are gravity, generosity of soul, sincerity, earnestness and kindness.
Virtue is more to man than either water or fire. I have seen men die from treading on water and fire, but I have never seen a man die from treading the course of virtue.
When you know a thing, to hold that you know it; and when you do not know a thing, to allow that you do not know it - this is knowledge.
When a man's knowledge is sufficient to attain, and his virtue is not sufficient to enable him to hold, whatever he may have gained, he will lose again.
Ignorance is the night of the mind, but a night without moon and star.
The firm, the enduring, the simple, and the modest are near to virtue.
When we see men of a contrary character, we should turn inwards and examine ourselves.
The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.
Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart.
Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.
I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.
The determined scholar and the man of virtue will not seek to live at the expense of injuring their virtue. They will even sacrifice their lives to preserve their virtue complete.
A youth is to be regarded with respect. How do you know that his future will not be equal to our present?
The man who in view of gain thinks of righteousness; who in the view of danger is prepared to give up his life; and who does not forget an old agreement however far back it extends - such a man may be reckoned a complete man.
He with whom neither slander that gradually soaks into the mind, nor statements that startle like a wound in the flesh, are successful may be called intelligent indeed.
Do not impose on others what you yourself do not desire.
Learn as though you would never be able to master it; Hold it as though you would be in fear of losing it.
When anger rises, think of the consequences.
Men's natures are alike, it is their habits that carry them far apart.
He who merely knows right principles is not equal to him who loves them.
In his errors a man is true to type. Observe the errors and you will know the man.
The superior man cannot be known in little matters, but he may be entrusted with great concerns. The small man may not be entrusted with great concerns, but he may be known in little matters.
I want you to be everything that's you, deep at the center of your being.
The superior man is satisfied and composed; the mean man is always full of distress.
To go beyond is as wrong as to fall short.
They must often change who would be constant in happiness or wisdom.
When we see men of worth, we should think of equaling them; when we see men of a contrary character, we should turn inwards and examine ourselves.
What the superior man seeks is in himself. What the mean man seeks is in others.
Recompense injury with justice, and recompense kindness with kindness.
With coarse rice to eat, with water to drink, and my bended arm for a pillow - I have still joy in the midst of these things. Riches and honors acquired by unrighteousness are to me as a floating cloud.
The superior man is modest in his speech but exceeds in his actions.
Hold faithfulness and sincerity as first principles.
Fine words and an insinuating appearance are seldom associated with true virtue.
When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don't adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.
Is virtue a thing remote? I wish to be virtuous, and lo! Virtue is at hand.
He who exercises government by means of his virtue may be compared to the north polar star, which keeps its place and all the stars turn towards it.
A man who has committed a mistake and doesn't correct it, is committing another mistake.
It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop.
Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.
The man of virtue makes the difficulty to be overcome his first business, and success only a subsequent consideration.
To be able to practice five things everywhere under heaven constitutes perfect virtue...[They are] gravity, generosity of soul, sincerity, earnestness, and kindness.
Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without.
Virtue is not left to stand alone. He who practices it will have neighbors.
He who learns but does not think, is lost! He who thinks but does not learn is in great danger.
By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.
The superior man...does not set his mind either for anything, or against anything; what is right he will follow.
The essence of knowledge is, having it, to apply it; not having it, to confess your ignorance.